fighting spam and scams on the Internet
"419" Scam – Advance Fee / Fake Lottery Scam
The so-called "419" scam is a type of fraud dominated by criminals from Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Victims of the scam are promised a large amount of money, such as a lottery prize, inheritance, money sitting in some bank account, etc.
Victims never receive this non-existent fortune but are tricked into sending their money to the criminals, who remain anonymous. They hide their real identity and location by using fake names and fake postal addresses as well as communicating via anonymous free email accounts and mobile phones.
Keep in mind that scammers DO NOT use their real names when defrauding people.
The criminals either abuse names of real people or companies or invent names or addresses.
Any real people or companies mentioned below have NO CONNECTION to the scammers!
Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.
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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- This email uses a separate reply address that is different from the sender address. Spammers use this to get replies even when the original spam sending accounts have been shut down. Also, sometimes the sender addresses are legitimate looking but fake and only the reply address is actually an email account controlled by the scammers.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "consignment " (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Col Eric Hall " <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 29 Oct 2020 17:40:29 +0200
Subject: Can you be trusted?
Once again thanks for your email back
I am with the 82nd Airborne Division part of the 50,000 troops still
remaining in Iraq to complete the later part of the war plan, however my unit was
deployed to Afghanistan
on a temporary mission from where i should be heading home after a
dedicated and selfless service to my country. Be rest assured that
this is an opportunity that came for both of us to
be comfortable in life. Please all I need from you is to make sure
that you adhere to my instructions. The funds in question was
discovered by my unit during one of our numerous raids on Saddam
Hussein palaces all over Iraq, the notes are neatly packed in two
military spec consignment boxes and right now i am seeking your help
and partnership to move them to the U.S.
This is my private email address so that no one will be able to trace
anything. Please note that the usage of private phones here is out of
bound to us out here because all international calls are monitored.
But I will always work out ways to call you via public phones when
necessary. Like I told you earlier I'm still on duty here in
Afghanistan after we moved from Iraq and if such amount of money is
traced to my account in the united states, I shall be investigated
hence I need you to assist me get the funds out. It is $45million in
would share it 60/40 percent, and you would help me invest in hotels
and real estate.
If and only if you are interested, I need the following: Your name,
Your phone number and address where the boxes will be shipped using a
special delivery and military immunity.
More info once I get your details and you agree to help just to be on
the safe side. What was your AO as a marine? Any war experience? pls
let me hear from you soon.
God bless America!!